Politics

Ambulance case: I’ve not applied for plea bargain; ignore false publications – Ato Forson

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The Minority Leader, Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has denied some media reports suggesting that he has applied for a plea bargain in the ongoing ambulance case.

According to the Ajumako-Enyan-Essiam MP, the reports are from his detractors wanting to court public disaffection for him.

In a press release issued on Thursday, October 5, Dr Ato Forson asked the citizenry to ignore the reports which he said has no factual basis.

“The publication is without any factual basis and an attempt to court public disaffection to the person of Hon Dr Cassiel Ato Forson.”

“The Hon Dr. Cassiel Ato Forson has not applied to the Honorable Court or the Attorney General Department for a plea bargain or out-of-court settlement.”

He added in the release that he is ready to defend himself as he has opened his defense in the ongoing case.

“The record would show that the Honorable Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has opened his defence in the trial and has since called some of his witnesses.”

“The Honourable Dr Cassiel Ato Forson has throughout maintained his innocence having pleaded not guilty to the charges.”

Meanwhile, the lawyers for the Minority Leader led by Dr. Abdul Baasit Bamba on Thursday, July 27, 2023 moved an application urging the judge to recuse herself.

Dr. Bamba argued that it was legally wrong for the judge to hear the motion for recusal herself. He made these comments shortly after Justice Botwe had announced the outcome of a petition sent to the Chief Justice by another accused person standing trial in the case.

That accused person, Richard Jakpa had also accused the judge of bias days after he had clashed with the judge during a hearing.

The judge announced in court that a letter from the CJ indicates that she can still proceed with the case. Dr. Bamba then rose to address the court.

He informed the court that they had filed a motion for recusal.

He explained that the judge had made certain comments which had unsettled the politician and led him to conclude that he was not going to get a fair trial.

He pointed out that there is a principle of law that where the allegations of bias are so grave as the current one is, the judge against whom it is made should not even be the one to hear the motion of recusal.

“When Your Ladyship suggests that the witness who’s yet to be called and who has not expressed any unwillingness, will be arrested, that is unfair. The issues we are alluding to are so grave to the extent that for My Lady to say that if the person would not come he will be locked up, by Your Ladyship saying that these witnesses to be summoned could be locked up, it is problematic.”

“The order you made that unsettled my client is that his case would be deemed closed if he is not able to get any of his witnesses called. This means we are being denied our right to a fair hearing,” he stated.

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